According to metrics released May 9, the county’s daily case rate per 100,000 people was down to two, qualifying it for yellow-tier status.
The other two metrics required to make yellow tier—overall positivity rate and health equity quartile rate—improved from 1.4 percent to 1.3 percent and 1.9 percent to 1.4 percent, respectively.
Both of these rates had qualified for the yellow tier for weeks, but the case rate stuck in orange tier status was what kept the county from advancing to the least restrictive tier.
If Orange County maintains two weeks of yellow tier metrics beginning May 11, it’s likely the county will advance to the yellow tier on May 25, Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett told The Epoch Times.
Bartlett said she’s excited for the advancement because it will bring the region closer to having a thriving economy again.
“It’s one step further along to getting back to that sense of normalcy, where we can reopen our local economy, people can have thriving businesses again, people can get back to their day-to-day lives and go to the businesses that they haven’t been able to go to for significant periods of time now, like the bars, for instance, that have been pretty much closed except for outdoors,” she said.
All of California’s 58 counties will move to the green tier on June 15, when the state is expected to almost fully reopen. The exact restrictions that will be lifted haven’t yet been released by the governor’s office.
Bartlett said the green tier will be great for tourism, which is common in Orange County.
“Just getting to yellow tier in and of itself is great for tourism, but of course we want to fully reopen our local economy,” she said. “So hopefully by June 15, when we have the state reopening and we’re out of the tier system, we’ll be able to open to a greater extent. I don’t know if it’ll be 100 percent in all categories, but hopefully opened up to a much greater extent than even the yellow tier.
“Based upon our current COVID numbers and our metrics, I believe that Orange County has the worst of the COVID pandemic behind us, but it all depends on what new variants are coming forth and whether or not the current vaccines are applicable to all of the variants.”